NextGen Homepage

Image caption: Homepage of the NextGen OCW beta site

After helping us celebrate 20 years of open sharing in 2021, it’s natural to wonder: what’s next? This week, to close out our learner Q&A series, we’re taking your questions about one of our favorite topics, the future of OpenCourseWare.

The vision behind OCW remains the same—to freely and openly share resources from MIT with the world. And yet the way people learn and communicate has changed dramatically since we started, and the potential for sharing knowledge at scale today is greater than we ever could have envisioned in 2001.

With that, members of the team share their thoughts on NextGen OCW—the new mobile-friendly OCW platform that’s currently in the works—what our hopes are for the years to come, and how to stay on top of future courses and resources as they’re released.

Some questions have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What’s the latest on the NextGen OCW platform? -Christopher

NextGen OCW is in the final stretches of development! There are two major themes of our development work: 1) the NextGen courseware site that users interact with and 2) a new authoring platform where the OCW team builds courses. We have been developing and experimenting with NextGen courseware sites for more than a year, paying close attention that users can easily access the catalog of OCW content in mobile formats, and find materials more easily through enhanced search tools.

Since October 2021, the OCW team has been experimenting with new streamlined authoring processes on an initial version of the NextGen authoring platform. We anticipate releasing the NextGen website and its improved end user experience in the coming months. Stay tuned to this blog and the OCW newsletter for updates!

-Daniel Seaton, Senior Learning Systems Designer & NextGen Project Lead

OpenCourseWare is free and open every day so learners and educators anywhere can have access to resources from MIT. This kind of sustained offering needs sustained support. Consider joining OCW as a monthly donor to keep us growing.

What was the motivation behind building this platform? -Bárbara

We wanted OCW to be accessible on any platform since a good part of the world only accesses the internet through mobile phones or other hand-held devices. The new platform will also make it easier and faster for those of us creating the content behind the scenes. Altogether, it will be a win-win both for users and for the OCW team!

Shiba Nemat-Nasser, Digital Publication Specialist & Feedback Lead

What’s the future of OCW? More courses? More schools? Different media platforms? -Joe

We have ambitious plans for OCW. As Curt Newton, the Director of OCW, has stated in an address given at the Science Summit at the United Nations Global Assembly last year, OCW has an important role to play in the open educational resources (OER) landscape. He calls on the need to ensure that in adding to the corpus of open knowledge available, we need to make sure we’re:

  • Creating and adapting with radical inclusion
  • Sharing through a network of unshakeable resilience
  • Rapidly iterating to include the latest knowledge and experience
  • Experimenting and refining with adaptive scale

Publishing OCW materials with these frameworks in mind will help us expand and grow our impact in the world while tackling issues of marginalization and racism that hold back true educational equity.

This also means we have a deep responsibility in making sure our content is accessible, that we leave room for experimenting and improving content and the delivery of that content and collaborating with organizations to realize scaling up knowledge in local communities and blossom from there.

As Daniel and Shiba mention above, NextGen OCW is going to help us make major progress in some of these areas, but we are shifting our approach to OER that can ultimately help improve education globally.

-Yvonne Ng, Annual Giving and Donor Relations Officer

What’s the best way to find out about the latest course announcements? -Multiple learners

There is always something new to learn on OCW, and the best way to get regular updates about the latest courses, podcast episodes, and other resources as they drop is by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. For updates outside your inbox, you can also use OCW RSS feeds, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel and the Chalk Radio podcast for the newest videos and in-depth conversations with MIT faculty.

-Megan Maffucci, Assistant Officer for Annual Fund and Communications

Curious to learn more? Check out some of the recent posts in our community Q&A series: You Asked, We Answered, Part 1; You Asked, We Answered, Part 2; Your Questions Answered. Or, ask the team directly here.